Travel to Brussels: Cheap trains, buses and flights

Mon, Mar 25
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About Brussels

Brussels is well known as the capital of Belgium and also as the headquarters for the E.U. and other important European Institutions. As the capital city, Brussels is filled with activities, museums and monuments to visit, including the famous Manneken Pis. You can also walk through the streets and discover the architectural diversity of Brussels including famous examples of modern, Art Déco, Art Nouveau style. Equally, a walk through along canal or a visit the numerous libraries offers a number of great discoveries including the fact that Brussels is also the capital of European comic strips.

How to Get to Brussels

Brussels Airport is the principal airport in Belgium and offers most of its flights to European and International destinations including North America and North Africa. The Airport has its own train station, and national trains from the Brussels city centre call at this station regularly. By bus, the De Lijn company offers services to the Airport from Brussels-North railway station and Roodebeek metro station. STIB also provides buses to the airport from the European District. There are plenty of taxis available at the airport as well as in the city, and a journey from the city centre to the airports costs around €45.

Brussels South Charleroi is the second largest airport in the country. The Brussels City Shuttle offers regular and low cost bus journeys from the Brussels-South railway station to the airport.

Brussels-South, also known as Brussels-Midi station, Gare du Midi or Zuidstation, is located in the south of the city. Good connections can be found from here to European destinations as well as other cities in Belgium. Major rail providers and trains serving this station include Thalys, TGV, Eurocity, Eurostar, ICE, and Intercity. The train station is linked by the metro lines 2 and 6. The closest tramway and bus stop is "Gare du Midi" on tram lines 31 and 81, and bus line 78. Buses 116, 117, 118, 141, 142, 170 and 171 also service the train station by stopping at the "Brussel Zuid".

Brussels-North is one of the three biggest stations in the capital. It welcomes trains from all over Europe and is well connected to the Brussels Public transports network. The main rail provider for the station is SNCB. The station is part of the "Centre des Communications Nord" or North Communications Center which links it to: tramways 3, 4, 25, 31, 32, and 55, buses 14, 15, 57, 58 and 61, Eurolines and De Lijn bus terminals, and a taxi station.

This major bus station is located at the Brussels-North Railway Station and provides numerous connections for local buses, as well as long distance national and international coach services. The station is connected to the local transport network via trams 3, 4, 25, 31, 32, and 55. Local city buses 14, 15, 57, 58 and 61 also stop here.


Getting Around Brussels

The public transport system in Brussels is provided by the STIB. Since the public transport system is well developed and driving in the city can be challenging, it is very common and practical to use the STIB network. Public transport in Brussels is open from 05:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. during the week, and until 03:00 a.m. on the weekend.

Cycling, although not as popular as in Amsterdam as in Brussels, is becoming more and more popular. With the introduction of over 23 km of bike lanes and a municipal bike share programme, cycling should become a lot easier in future.

Taxis are readily available in Brussels and can be hailed all over the city, directly from the street. Due to the amount of traffic, driving in car through the centre of Brussels is not recommended. Alternatively, parking the car in a car park outside of the city and using public transport can be a quick and cost-effective way to visit the city.

Brussels is a beautiful city to walk through; exploring it on foot is one of the best ways to take in the incredible architecture. On foot, the city centre can be crossed in about 40 minutes.

Brussels is well known as the capital of Belgium and also as the headquarters for the E.U. and other important European Institutions. The city was first mentioned in texts in 695 as "Brossella", but its history really begins in 979 when Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine decides that Brussels will be the capital of its Duchy. During the Middle Age, Brussels is a trading place and has around 5000 inhabitants. The country was under the control of various empires including the Austrian, French and Dutch before the Belgian Revolution of 1830 when Belgium becomes independent and Brussels becomes it's capital. The rest of the 19th century sees Brussels industrial development and economic growth boom, with the growth of the population shooting from 80,000 inhabitants to 625,000. New buildings, streets and districts are created, using modern architecture, for which Brussels is famous: "Art Nouveau" and then "Art Deco" in the beginning of the 20th century. As the capital city, Brussels is filled with activities, museums and monuments to visit, including the famous Manneken Pis. You can also walk through the streets and discover the architectural diversity of Brussels including famous examples of modern, Art Déco, Art Nouveau style. Equally, a walk through along canal or a visit the numerous libraries offers a number of great discoveries including the fact that Brussels is also the capital of european comic strips.

How to Get to Brussels

Flying into Brussels Airport

Brussels Airport is the principal airport in Belgium and sees around 19 million passengers annually. The airport offers a most of its flights to European and International destinations including North America and North Africa. Getting from Brussels Airport to the City Centre The Airport has its own train station, and national trains from the Brussels city centre call at this station regularly. By bus, the De Lijn company offers services to the Airport from Brussels-North railway station and Roodebeek metro station. STIB also provides buses to the airport from the European District. There are plenty of taxis available at the airport as well as in the city, and a journey from the city centre to the airports costs around €45. For those driving, the E40 will get you directly to the airport from the city centre in about 30 minutes.

Flying into Brussels South Charleroi Airport

Brussels South Charleroi is the second largest airport in the country 2nd airport of the country servicing 6.8 million passengers a year. Like the other airport located in the capital, it offers flight mostly to European and North African destinations. Getting from Brussels South Charleroi Airport to the City Centre The Brussels City Shuffle offers regular and low cost bus journeys from the Brussels-South railway station to the airport. If going by taxi, many taxi companies might suggest cab sharing with other passengers as a fare from the city centre to the airport costs around €70. By car, the drive is around 1.5 hours from the city centre, and drivers can take the E19 and then the E420 to reach the airport.

Trains to Brussels-South Railway Station

Brussels-South is the busiest train station in Belgium with more than 180,000 passengers travelling through per day. The station is also known as Brussels-Midi station, Gare du Midi or Zuidstation and it is located in the south of the city. Good connections can be found here to European destinations as well as Brussels' other train stations and other cities in Belgium. Major rail providers and trains serving this station include Thalys, TGV, Eurocity, Eurostar, ICE, and Intercity. Getting from Brussels-South Railway Station to the City Centre The train station is linked by the metro lines 2 and 6 at the "Gare du Midi / Zuidstation" stop. The closest tramway and bus stop is "Gare du Midi" on tram lines 31 and 81, and bus line 78. Buses 116, 117, 118, 141, 142, 170 and 171 also service the train station by stopping at the "Brussel Zuid". As the railway station is pretty close to the city centre, lots of taxis are available nearby at all times. Its central location also makes it easy to get from the very centre of Brussels to the railway station in about 10 minutes by car. Drivers can take Anspach Boulevard and then Stalingrad Avenue. From there take Jamar Boulevard and turn at Paul-Henri Spaak Avenue.

Trains to Brussels-North Station

Brussels-North is one of the three biggest stations in the capital. It welcomes trains from all over Europe (excluding the Thalys) and is well connected to the Brussels Public transports network. The main rail provider for the station is SNCB. The station is part of the "Centre des Communications Nord" or North Communications Center which links it to: tramways 3, 4, 25,31,32, and 55, buses 14, 15, 57, 58 and 61, Eurolines and De Lijn bus terminals, and a taxi station. When driving, the station is 8 minutes from the very city centre by car. The station is best accessed by Brabant Street, via Adolphe Max Boulevard.

Buses to Brussels-North Railway Station

This major bus station is located at the Brussels-North Railway Station, and provides numerous connections for local buses as well as long distance national and international coach services. Major providers servicing this stations include Eurolines, De Lijn and STIB. Getting from Brussels-North Railway Station to the City Centre The station is connected to the local transport network via trams 3, 4, 25,31,32, and 55. Local city buses 14, 15, 57, 58 and 61 will also stop here. If driving here to or from the city centre, you can take Adolphe Max Boulevard and then Brabant Street in about 8 minutes.

Driving to Brussels

Driving in Belgium can be a great way to explore the countryside as well as make fast connections between major cities. Cars drive on the right side of the road here, and the speed limit on motorways is 120 km/h. To drive to Brussels, you can take the E19 - which is the ring road around the region. Driving into the city centre is doable by car and there are many car parks found within and outside of the city.

How to Get Around in Brussels

Public Transport in Brussels

The public transport system in Brussels is provided by the STIB. The STIB offers 4 metro lines (covering 40 km), 18 tramway lines (covering 138 km) and 50 bus lines (covering 360 km). Since the public transport system is well developed and driving in the city can be challenging, it is very common and practical to use the STIB network. * Public Transport Provider: STIB (STIB Official Website)* Cost of a Ticket: Single ticket (for 1 hour) costs €2.50 and round-trip costs €4. A day ticket costs €7, a 3-day ticket costs €17, and a monthly ticket costs €49.* Discounted Ticket Types: Discounts are available for those living on a low income, children, students, and seniors.* Availability of Public Transport at Night: Public transport in Brussels is open from 05:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. during the week, and until 03:00 a.m. on the weekend as part of the Noctis or Night network.

Cycling in Brussels

Cycling is still not so common in Brussels, as only 3.5% of the journeys made are currently done so by bike. However, with the introduction of over 23 km of bike lanes and a municipal bike share programme, this percentage is growing every year. As much of the city still requires cyclists to share the road with traffic, proper cycling gear is always recommended. * Official Municipal Bike Provider: Villo! (Villo! Official Website)* Rental Costs: The hire subscriptions fees are €1.60 EUR for one day, and €7.65 for 7 days. The travel distance fees for the first 30 minutes is free, and after that you are charged €0.50 per 30 minutes up to a maximum of €2 directly on your credit card.

Taxis in Brussels

Taxis are readily available in Brussels, and can be hailed all over the city directly from the street. Taxis can also be pre ordered by calling one of the many taxi companies available here. * Base Minimum Fare: €2.40 * Cost: €1.80 per km (in the region Bruxelles-Capitale), €2.70 EUR per km (out of the region Bruxelles-Capitale)

Driving in Brussels

Due to traffic, it is not advised to drive within Brussels usually. Parking the car in a car park outside of the city and using public transport can be a quick and cost saving way to visit the city. If you still want to drive in Brussels, parking usually starts at around €2.40 per hour for the cheapest parking.

Walking Around Brussels

Brussels is a beautiful city to walk through, and exploring it on foot is one of the best ways to take in the architecture. On foot, the city centre can be crossed in about 40 minutes.

5 Day Trips from Brussels

Brussels might just be Belgium’s biggest tourist hotspot. The great thing about travelling in Belgium is that most towns are reachable within two hours of Brussels! Ticket prices range from €7.90 to €23.30 one way, although if you’re just going for a day, a return ticket is always the cheaper option. You can check out all the train times and prices on Omio.

Liège
About an hour south of the capital in the French-speaking region of Walloon you’ll find the sleepy town of Liège. Is there anything interesting there? If you consider yourself a bit of an art connoisseur then Liège is the day trip for you! Strolling through the peaceful streets and over canals you’ll stumble upon museums such as The Grand Curtis Museum, which is home to Mosan art piees.

Liège is also one of the only places In Belgium which doesn’t shut down on a Sunday. Venture around Belgium’s oldest and largest market – La Batte. With colourful stalls stretching over 1 km long, you can pick up anything from cheese, chocolate and second-hand knick-knacks. Visiting the market is a great way of gathering an insight into Liège life as the vast majority of buyers are from the town itself. The market runs every Sunday from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm.

Antwerp
Antwerp is just a stone’s throw from Brussels, located in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders and takes just over an hour by train. Is there anything interesting there? If you’re looking to be completely captivated with stunning architecture then Antwerp needs to be on your itinerary.

A must-see attraction is the house of notorious Flemish painter Ruben. Whether you’re a fan of baroque art or not, the house itself is architecturally gorgeous. Be sure to check out the garden as well for some visual delights. Have a gander down one of Belgium’s famous streets, Cogels Osylei. Renowned for its extensive beauty and quirky buildings it’s perfect for a stroll and is 100% Insta-friendly.

Lille
Got a craving for France? Well it’s completely possible to make a day trip to Lille, which is located on the French side of the French/Belgian border. The city it acquired the best attributes from both Belgium and France. Reachable from Brussels in just under two hours. Is there anything interesting there? There’s a bubbling mixture of culture, sights and history all located in the petite city of Lille.

Explore Lille’s most iconic building, the Old Stock Exchange. Located in the centre of the city, this architectural masterpiece is accompanied by high-end boutiques and market stalls offering you the perfect opportunity to treat yourself. Don’t forget to drop in for a tango extravaganza on Sunday night too, where people of all ages and walks of life come to dance into the night.

Bruges
Located north of Brussels in the Flanders region, it is easily accessible by train and takes just a little over an hour to get to. Is there anything interesting there? The city is an attraction in its own way. With canals flowing throughout this fairytale-styled town, all you need to in Bruges is take in your surroundings.

Grote Markt is considered to be the town’s centre. This is also where you’ll find the town’s huge clock tower which is worth climbing up. The honest truth is that it’s a pretty steep and narrow climb to the top, but the view from the top is unreal. On a clear day, you can see all the way out to the Belgian coast, watch the boats gently make their way through the town’s canals, while adoring Bruges from above.

Ghent

Ghent is literally halfway between Brussels and Bruges, making the trip only 30 minutes by train. Is there anything interesting there? If you dig castles and gothic architecture you’ll dig Ghent.

Check out the Gravensteen castle. Built-in 1190 and home to a Torture Museum it’s safe to say the ambience is a little creepy. For those who love a ghost story will have a great time.

If spooky stuff isn’t your thing then check out the massive St. Bavo’s Cathedral in the town’s centre. Inside you’ll find the world’s most stolen art piece ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by Jan Van Eyck. It was taken by Napoleon, then nearly burned by the Calvinist, only to end up in the hands of the Nazis.

T’Gouden Madeke is one of the best bars in Ghent. It’s cosy, full of locals and it has an awesome selection of Belgian beer.

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